Mary’s visit to Elizabeth

39 Now [a]at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And [b]how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who [c]believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her [d]by the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45)

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Photo/painting credits: unknown

Mary is full of awe, yet stunned at what just happened. A messenger of God had appeared to her and told her not only was she going to have a baby in the most miraculous way, her old relative Elizabeth also was going to have a child and she was already 6 months along.

Mary knew what to do and gathered her things and hurried to the town where she would find Elizabeth.

As she stepped into the home and greeted it something amazing happened. No prayer was prayed, no hands laid on Elizabeth, but as Mary uttered the greeting when she entered the home, the baby (John) leaped inside the womb and not only that, his mother (Elizabeth) was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Imagine that, a greeting caused this baby to leap and its mother to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Right then and there Elizabeth exclaims in a loud voice: “Blessed are you among women and blessed the child you will bear.”

Elizabeth counted herself favored that Mary would come to visit her. I can only imagine the people in the town talking about ‘old’ Elizabeth, probably not blessing her with their words. Yet Mary comes in, blesses the home and it causes a chain reaction. Her faith, her heart, her obedience to hurry over to Elizabeth’s house, to share this moment with her causes a chain of events even in Elizabeth’s life that I am sure blessed her beyond words.

The baby leaps for joy and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. In return Elizabeth speaks forth a blessing over Mary that she is blessed because she believed what the Lord had spoken to her. She believed it would be accomplished.

Yesterday I posted the story of the angel visiting with Mary and how she expressed such faith in believing it would happen to her as the messenger told her.

Now, Elizabeth also recognizes and blesses Mary for believing the Word of God to her life and not only believing it, but believing it will be accomplished.

Two women, full of faith, with a heart to obey, to live life in obedience to the Lord, to be used by Him to bring forth promises of YHWH to their people.

What has God spoken to you that you are doubting about, that you are having a hard time believing? Are you still struggling with the “how” it will happen? Are you still wondering wether the words were from God or not?

Mary knew enough about God that she trusted the words of the messenger to be from the Almighty. She didn’t question it even if it didn’t make sense to her mind. She took this into her heart and chose to believe that it would be as He said.

Elizabeth confirms this over Mary’s life and calls her blessed for believing that word and believing it would be accomplished.

This Christmas Eve as you ponder on the beauty of the birth of Christ, may you also ponder on the words that have been spoken over you. May you walk in faith and trust that the word He speaks will be accomplished.

Maybe the circumstances are strange (so were Mary’s), maybe the word is rather odd (so was Mary’s), but God’s words always come to pass, they will be accomplished. Walk in obedience and there will be others who will see your faith and will call you blessed, others will start asking you about your faith, others will not understand it, but you just keep walking in what He spoke to you, do not waver to the left or to the right.

As you ponder, may your heart rejoice like Mary’s and bring forth a song of praise to the Lord God Almighty. May you be able to say along with her:

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”

 

The birth of Jesus foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

….The Lord is with you….

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

As most of us likely know by now, December 25th was probably not the actual birth of Jesus and therefore not his actual birth day. What we do know is this…..

An angel appeared to this young girl called Mary, so found favor in the eyes of the Lord, not just any favor….HIGHLY favored….and the Lord was with her. Luke describes this moment for us. Let’s keep reading. She was troubled at this kind of greeting. What did that even mean to somebody her age that she was highly favored and the Lord was with her? Wouldn’t you be troubled? Wouldn’t you wonder what that means? She was even a little scared.

The angel noticed she was a little uneasy so he goes on to say: “Do not worry, you have found favor with God.” I can only image what Mary might have thought at that very moment. You mean THE God, YHWH himself is looking upon me with favor, really?

After listening to the other things the angel had to say the response of Mary continues to capture my heart and is truly admiring and the evidence of a true believer in what she knew. Imagine she knew enough to respond to the Lord “May it be to me according to your word.”

Friends, as you enter this Christmas season, celebrating the birth of Christ our Savior, think of the incredible miracle it was that this young girl had such faith to believe the word of God so quickly and without doubting that what was said wouldn’t come to pass.

The angel left her with these last words: “For nothing is impossible for God, or in other words – His Words always will be fulfilled.”

I can’t help but ponder on this part of the story this Christmas. The foretelling of the birth of Jesus was just as special as the fact that he actually came. Do you realize that if it wasn’t for such a humble young girl, who had a solid belief in the YHWH, His truth, His Word and believed it from the moment she hear it. She trusted that if He spoke it would be done, that it would be done.

I pray that this Christmas season your faith will rise to a new level where the Word of God to your life will be a solid foundation. May the Word He has already spoken over your life become the beginning of a new season.

Remember, His Word for your life has been in the pages of an amazing book called “The Holy Scriptures”. Mary only had part of these writings, she was part of the making of the history of the part you now hold in your hands. What part of the story of your life are you living right now?

May your response to His Word be like that of Mary:

“Be it unto me as You say.”

School registration and tutoring

Our daughter finished 9th grade, two more years and she is done with high school.

Besides trusting the Lord for the last payment for getting our children registered for the 2019 school year, we are needing to see an additional $300 come in for Math tutoring for our son in the next month.

He really struggles with Math and to be able to re-take his final exam in January he will have to get seveveral sessions of tutoring. Would you consider an end of the year gift to help with this most urgent need.

CLICK HERE to know how to send a donation.

Thank you for considering we truly need to see a miracle.

Reaching the unreached

Many think of Costa Rica as vacation destination and truly that is a big part of what this nation has to offer.

Beautiful fora and fauna in every way.

But there is another beauty that we see every day and that is its people.

It is our joy and calling every day to reach people who live in this nation to not only know Jesus, but to receive Jesus as their personal savior and to become disciples of Jesus, those who walk with Him, learn from Him, lean on Him and follow in His footsteps.

Some of our staff and DTS students are teaching out this weekend through a medical outreach in a little village about 6 hours from the capital in Turrialba. The population is mostly indigenous and does not even speak a lot of Spanish.

They will be assisting a medical team to provide dental and medical care for free. They will cut hair, play withthe children, hand out bibles, pray for people and share the love of Jesus with those who need it.

That is what you can pray for this weekend. Pray for an amazing weekend, encounters and much fun!!

Latinos – the next wave of missionaries

Can I introduce you to some amazing new missionaries. They are from El Salvador and Costa Rica. Their names: Omar Mendoza and Milagro Ocampo. Omar is from El Salvador and Milagro is from Costa Rica.

Omar did his discipleship training school with us several years ago and the Gospel of hope and love changed his life. Now years later he is serving as a missionary with YWAM San Jose believing the Lord for His provision to send him into the nations. As a member of our September DTS he is raising funds right now to cover not only his day to day living expenses, trusting the Lord for provision for that, but he is also raising funds to take a team on outreach for 8 weeks into the Northern provinces of Costa Rica. Reaching young people in Guanacaste and Alajuela with the same love of Christ that he has transformed by. We love receiving people, training people and then sending people into the nations.

Omar needs supporters to come around him with prayer and finances. We are helping him raise the necessary fees to take this DTS group on outreach and if only 30 people would be willing to support him with $50 he can go and make Jesus known for 8 weeks in the different cities in Costa Rica. Would you consider a one time gift? Go to our donate page and you can send it through our Paypal or Cash App (using email gmcoghi5@gmail.com) and we will get the funds to him.

support a missionary from el salvador

Milagro is a young woman from Costa Rica who lives very close to the YWAM training Campus. She has heard about YWAM for a little bit and several people from her church did a discipleship training School with us. A few months ago we moved closer to where she lives and the Lord led her to come and visit during our family nights. The Lord started speaking to her immediately that this is the place for her. She is now volunteering weekly in our kitchen and cooking for all the students and missionaries here, but God has given her a new call: Become a missionary herself and do the January Discipleship Training school. She is baking up a storm to make money and raise the necessary funds for the tuition. God is raising up a new generation of Latino Missionaries to be send forth into the nations. Your prayers and support all make this possible!! Thank you for standing with us to send them out and make God known among Latin America and the world.

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Meet Milagro – getting ready to be trained, equipped and send in our January DTS

Getting close to 200

As 2018 is quickly coming to a close, so is this year Homes of Hope build!!

This last weekend has been another weekend of building more than 1 home in two days!

Several years ago we build 7 Homes in one weekend, last year we build 8 Homes in one weekend and this weekend we built 6 Homes in one weekend.

Over 200 volunteers, full time ywam missionaries and our DTS students were part of building these 6 families a home that provides adequate shelter and gives much need hope for a better future.

Coming together from all different nationalities, backgrounds and denominations for one single purpose…to bless, serve and Love our neighbor.

Children ages 7 and up, all working on giving other families a gift this end of 2018!

As a YWAM ministry, Homes of Hope in Costa Rica is getting close to the 200 Mark by the end of 2018!

Our next Homes will be build right at the end of December.

The situation in this community has changed over the past 8 years since we started building Homes of Hope here. There is still so much to be done but change is happening. Poverty is not only a physical thing, it is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people.

Kind of like when the people of Israel left Egypt. It took a while before Egypt left their hearts and minds even though they had already left long before.

Change does not happen overnight but it is possible, so we continue one home at a time, one family at a time.

Thank you for standing with us in making this possible!

The story passed on

From November 2nd through Nov 13th, Giacomo had the amazing opportunity to participate in a YWAM event that we call DNA Conference. Together with other YWAM global leaders and over 300 participants they were able to share the story, the Words God has spoken to us as a ministry, to our lives and how to carry on that which He has spoken to us.

Giacomo has been processing the word legacy for some weeks now and was able to share this word with these 300 leaders. What are we going to leave behind? What is the legacy that you are born into? What was left to you by your family? What legacy are you yourself creating? Are we being good stewards of the family story and legacy?

Giacomo and I stepped into the legacy and story of God with YWAM in 1995 and 1996 respectively. We did not do anything to receive what God had already done since 1960 through YWAM, but we stepped into a family and by becoming part of the family of Youth With A Mission the story of God with this mission now became our story.

We do not just tell our own story that started in 1995, but we share the story of our family that started in 1960 and before in 1956 when God spoke to Loren Cunningham about the vision of waves of young people going into all the world to preach the gospel. That is the family story we stepped into and is now our story, our legacy.

What are you passing on to the ones God has given to you?

We love serving in Youth With A Mission, we feel that even after 22 years of being in this mission we are barely starting to see the dreams of God growing for Latin America. Our hearts are not just for Costa Rica, but for all of Latin America. To see a new generation raised up to become the leaders of tomorrow who carry the dreams of God, the story God in their hearts.

DUODNA CHILE 2018

That is what you are part of as you partner with us, pray for us and join us. We are reaching a new generation, raising up and equipping a new generation of passionate followers of Jesus who become obedient to the call of God on their lives.

Thank you for standing with us in that what the Lord has called us to do. We appreciate your prayers and support.